Wellington College


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 640 (Boys) 400 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 13 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1853

General Information

Wellington College is one of the outstanding all-round co-educational schools in Britain for boarding and day pupils. The College’s ethos is education of the whole child, engendering confidence, skills, an international outlook and the right attitudes to work, service and society that will set them apart as adults and help them succeed in their careers. The College’s experienced, high-quality teaching and pastoral staff are there to help each pupil be happy and fulfilled and achieve the very best for themselves in their academic work, in the Arts and in sport.


Chapel, concert room, Music School, Shabby Road Recording Studio, Music Library, concert hall, wind and brass centre. First class drama and arts facilities, including a theatre. All pupils are encouraged to participate in sports wherever they have an interest. Canoeing, basketball, fencing, polo and golf add to the range and allow the College to offer a breadth of sporting interest beyond the traditional games of rugby, cricket, hockey, football, rackets and athletics. Wellington has its own modern 9-hole golf course. There is a modern sports centre, two Astroturf pitches and a rackets court. Many trips and excursions are undertaken, both at home and abroad.

Entrance Requirements

Scholarships, Common Entrance Examination or by special examination


Many scholarships available, please contact the Admissions Office for full details.

Open Days

2018. Sat. 17th November.

2019. Sat. 19th January, Sat. 2nd March, Sat. 27th April and Sat. 8th June.

Please visit our website to register or contact the Admissions Office for details.


2018/2019. Boarding Fees: £13,250 per term. Day Fees (in boarding house): £11,120 per term. Day Fees: £9,680 per term.


ISI Inspection 2014

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr J P Thomas, BSc Hons, MBA, FRSA

Contact for enquiries: Mr E B R Venables, Director of Admissions

Wellington College
Duke's Ride
RG45 7PU

[t]: 01344 444 013
[w]: www.wellingtoncollege.org.uk

Location Description

An attractive 400 acre woodland estate in Crowthorne.

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School News

Wellington College Independent Berkshire Rwandan High Commissioner Visits Wellington

On Thursday 11th October, Wellington College welcomed Her Excellency Yamina Karitanyi, Rwandan High Commissioner, for the inaugural address of the Wellington College Peace and Conflict

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Institute’s guest lecture series.

‘A diamond is just a piece of charcoal that handles stress extraordinarily well’. On Thursday 11th October, Wellington College welcomed Her Excellency Yamina Karitanyi to Great School for the inaugural address of the Wellington College Peace and Conflict Institute’s guest lecture series. Her Excellency took the stage to the tune of ‘My Rwanda’, by Urban Boyz, the adopted theme tune of WCPCI’s trip in February, Wellington students, parents and staff came to hear Her Excellency speak about how Rwanda rose from the ashes of the 1994 genocide to become one of the most dynamic and healthy growing economies in Africa, and a ‘net exporter of peace’. Using the metaphor of a ‘piece of charcoal that handles stress extraordinarily well’, Her Excellency and gave a compelling account of Rwanda’s incredible turnaround over the past 24 years and explained how this was achieved through home grown solutions in three areas: the formal encouragement of healing and reconciliation between survivors and the ‘genocidaires’ who were often their neighbours through the Gacaca court system; the establishment of a sense of nationwide community through such initiatives as a national monthly ‘litter-pick’; and a road-map towards self-sufficiency through weaning the populace off international aid using such schemes as a country-wide livestock provision programme supported by government funded veterinary services. The lecture concluded with a powerful indictment of the colonial ‘divide and rule’ strategies of the past that contributed to Rwanda’s tragedy. Her Excellency offered a challenge to the adults in the audience with her observation that peace education should be formal and widespread, while her message to the students was to tell them they can not only learn from the mistakes of their forebears, they also have the technological means to both reach out to and look out for each other across geographical, cultural and national boundaries. The proceedings concluded with a lively round of questions and an invitation to a group of Wellingtonians to visit the Rwandan High Commission in London to continue the conversation.

Wellington College Independent Berkshire Golfing Excellence at Wellington College

Golf is enjoying something of a resurgence at Wellington with the first half of the Michaelmas Term bringing a string of successes for the Wellington

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Golf team.

Numbers are healthy, morale is high and, thanks to the excellent work of the green-keepers, the 9-hole course has never looked better. The first half of Michaelmas Term has brought a string of successes for the Wellington Golf team. A total of 12 matches have been played, with golfers from all year groups showing impressive levels of commitment. In early September, Wellington won the West Sussex Schools Invitational, beating 12 other schools. Later that month, the team travelled to Royal St George’s for the ISGA Alexander Quinn International. Captain, Jack Carling, who was leading the individual competition with one round to go, led the team to 5th place overall. James Clarke, Master in Charge of Golf at Wellington, has been delighted by the enthusiasm and dedication he has seen from the students this term. He commented, ‘We have a dozen elite golfers with handicaps of six and below, a very active junior and development squad of mid-teen handicap golfers, and about 25 girls and boys coming to practise their technique three times a week, all showing great commitment’. Golf is going from strength to strength at Wellington. James Clarke is assisted by our two professional coaches, Jason Brant from East Berkshire Golf Club and David Rennie, former Head Professional at Wentworth, and this continues to be a formidable combination. In addition to the growing numbers, and the growing fixture list, Wellington now has the capability to run officially sanctioned tournaments at the Wellington Golf Club, allowing players to put in score cards that will contribute to their official English Golf Union handicap.

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

The Edgbarrow Latin Project is a great example of the power of community collaboration.

Every Wednesday, a group of Wellington Classics students, accompanied by members of

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the Classics Department, head over to the local secondary school, Edgbarrow to teach Latin to students in Years 8 to 11. As the Edgbarrow students work towards a full GCSE in Latin, the Wellington students gain a different perspective on the classroom experience.

The project, now in its fifth year, was established by Dr Cromarty, along with Dr Johncock and Dr Ramsey from the Classics Department. It has gone from strength to strength ever since. What was once a teacher-led initiative has now expanded to include an enthusiastic group of Wellington students: 10 Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth students are now involved as classroom teaching assistants. There are currently four different year groups running, including a large Year 8 class being taught by an Edgbarrow teacher and aided by four Wellington students.

While previous participants were entered for the short course at the end of Year 10, this year will see the first cohort entered for the full GCSE Latin exam. They will sit their Latin papers along with their other subjects in June. As Dr Cromarty remarked, this is a ‘challenge for the students on only one hour a week over four years’.

The Edgbarrow students have more than risen to the challenge. ‘They are very enthusiastic’, one Sixth Former commented, ‘They are all on top of it and they seem excited about learning’. Another explained the benefits of having a shared interest: ‘Because it’s an after-school club, the Edgbarrow students all really want to be there. It is something we are taking as a subject because we want to do it as well, so there is a mutual enthusiasm there – both parties enjoy it’.

Wellington students are clear about the learning opportunities for all involved:

‘It’s been a really useful experience, a really beneficial one. It is great for us to go over the basics again, and then seeing them understand it is something that’s very nice to see. People always say that if you want to learn something you should teach it to others and this is literally doing that.’

‘When you’re the teacher you really have to be ready to answer all of their questions. It teaches you not to give up if the student is frustrated or if they can’t get something right. You have to motivate them and encourage them to try again. This gives us a useful perspective to take back and apply to our own work.’

The Edgbarrow Latin Project is part of Wellington’s Global Citizenship programme. Like many community initiatives, we are building reciprocal relationships that we hope will continue for a very long time.

Good luck to the Edgbarrow students sitting Latin exams in June.

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Wellington’s forward-thinking, outward-looking Wednesday afternoon programme has changed its name: ‘Global Citizenship’ is the name you will hear from now on.

The name captures the ambition,

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the scope and the positive aims of the programme we offer to students and, as ever, it encompasses a whole spectrum of strands. Wednesday afternoons will see students engaged in a range of extension, enrichment and community-based activities: Arts Award at Bronze and Silver level; Adventure, which encompasses a range of activities including climbing, rope work and expedition planning; Community Action, involving direct hands-on work with local community partners; Connected Curriculum, where senior students plan and execute a project to address community need on a local, national or international level, linked to an academic area; Enrichment, in which students are challenged to learn more about themselves through a wide range of physical and cultural experiences; and Sustainability, where students will undertake research-based projects to gain an accreditation upon successful completion of their investigations. CCF continues as it always has done with a dedicated and specific programme. Many of these activities also take place outside the Wednesday afternoon slot, but this is the time and place you are most likely to encounter them in action.

Rebecca Park, Head of Global Citizenship, commented: ‘The change of name reflects the refocusing on the skills and experiences the students develop during the Wednesday afternoon programme and the wide range of activities students encounter on their road to having a greater positive social impact and becoming the change makers of the future.’


Wellington College welcomed 98 external head boys and head girls from 45 schools (academies, state and independent) from all over the UK as well as

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Guernsey and France to the 13th Annual Heads of School Conference.

The morning comprised two keynotes: Leadership, delivered by Julian Thomas, Master of Wellington College, and the Power of Public Speaking by Jane Lunnon, Headmistress, Wimbledon High School.

In the afternoon, delegates were split into groups of 10 where they discussed ‘scenarios they would face as head of school’, ‘what their legacy is going to be’, as well as ‘their leadership vision’.  The day finished with a networking session over tea and cake, allowing students to share their leadership experiences.

The conference is run by our own Heads of College, supported by their deputies and College Prefects.  Once again, the Wellington College Prefects rose to the challenge and were excellent ambassadors on the day.   Over the years, we’ve been impressed by the levels of enthusiasm, resilience and gravitas displayed by all the attendees. They show an awareness of their responsibilities and a desire to make a difference in their schools.

One head boy commented: ‘As the voice of the school, we as head pupils have the ear of the Head and all the teachers, and what we say, and the way we say it, can really matter’.

No doubt the leadership skills these students are developing will stay with them for the rest of their lives. We look forward to seeing what they go on to achieve.


Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

DukeBox, the radio station of the Wellington family of schools, continues to extend its reach and influence.

With a new station about to open in Hangzhou,

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and the Master’s Voice now being shared via podcasts, DukeBox is fast becoming a key factor in uniting our community – on a local and global level. Listener figures reached 3,500 last academic year and the plan is to increase these, tenfold, by September 2019.

The story of DukeBox is a story of creative vision and ambition but, above all, it is a story of community collaboration. The Wellington Academy in Wiltshire and Wellington College in Berkshire share a station; there is now a student team in Wellington College Tianjin, which will forge close links with Wellington College Hangzhou. Later this year, work will be completed on the DukeBox station in Hangzhou, creating a new hub for DukeBox China.

Polly Gutteridge, Co-Founder of DukeBox Radio, in highlighting the importance of DukeBox to the Wellington Community, said: ‘DukeBox gives us the opportunity to unite our geographically disparate schools, and it offers a creative outlet for our students whatever their age and wherever their home’.

DukeBox currently broadcasts around 70 hours of original programming each week, plus a whole range of podcasts. The programming is innovative; the topics are wide-ranging. The Academy Remembrance Day service on 9th November will be covered live and presented by a Year 9 student; academic revision podcasts – ranging from ‘In Our Wellingtime’ for History to the light-hearted Chemistry Q&A – prove very popular each summer; pastoral talks for parents are recorded so that parents in our family of schools can listen to the same talks as parents at Wellington Crowthorne; and ‘Welly Music’ plays our student-produced music from singer-songwriters to the Symphony Orchestra.

The Modern Foreign Languages Department offers a global perspective: the Mandarin bilingual show goes out live from the College every Wednesday evening; ‘La Playlist’ plays music in French, Spanish, German, Italian and Chinese for an hour each evening; MFL FM (broadcasts and podcasts) cover everything from Scandinavian music (if you’ve never heard Abba’s Waterloo sung in Swedish this is your chance) to our Spanish festivals guide.

In short, DukeBox covers all the small things and the big things that happen within the Wellington Community. From large-scale events like the Jimmy Higham Fun Run, to the snippets that celebrate our College values between shows, DukeBox has it covered.

As the jingle goes: DukeBox is the voice of the Wellington Family.

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

This annual event is held in memory of Jimmy Higham, a young Wellington teacher who lost his battle with cancer in 2010, aged just 26.

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All proceeds from the run will go to support the Jimmy Higham Bursary Fund, which supports talented sportsmen and sportswomen. In the words of the Master, Julian Thomas, this great tradition is ‘Wellington at its best: inclusive, enthusiastic and fun’.

From serious runners, to joggers, to dog-walkers in fancy-dress, the 5K and 10K races see participants weave their way through the grounds of the College, cheered on by beaming marshals and energised by a vibrant, colourful crowd.

Adele Brown, who organises the event in memory of her former colleague, commented: ‘The Jimmy Higham Run is growing each year and both Jimmy’s name and the Bursary Fund is still very much part of the Wellington community. The support from the pupils blows me away every year, especially now that this generation of pupils only knows Jimmy Higham by name’.

One thing’s for sure: this race got soul!

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

On 22nd September, the Wellington Community held a career speed-networking event for all year groups, from the Third Form to the Upper Sixth. 90 students

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and 44 parents took part in an evening that was informative and inspiring in equal measure.

Representatives from a wide range of careers talked to students about the industries in which they work, passing on tips about how to get started as well as advice on careers in general. We welcomed a range of professionals, from CEOs, to experts in renewable energy, to board members of Karen Millen and Snow + Rock.

Ruth Fettes, from the Wellington Community team said, ‘We had an amazing group of talented individuals who had interesting careers and offered very valuable advice. The feedback from parents was that they found our students to be incredibly engaging and very well prepared. One student arrived with a PowerPoint presentation about why he wanted to pursue his chosen career; others went out of their comfort zones and explored options they had not previously considered’.

This latest initiative from the Wellington Community follows last year’s Entrepreneurs’ Exchange, which brought members of the College’s entrepreneurship society together with parents to share ideas and expertise in a way that was genuinely reciprocal.

Both events form part of Julian Thomas’s vision to create opportunities for students to explore life beyond school, making them alert to possibilities and excited about the paths they may follow.

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

‘A week-long celebration of the freedom to read.’

This week saw the first Banned Books Week at Wellington. Billed as a ‘week-long celebration of the freedom

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to read’, Banned Books Week has been celebrated in the USA since 1982 but this is the first year that the UK has officially joined in. A banned book refers to any book that has been ‘censored, banned or where its removal or restriction has been called for from libraries, schools, bookshops or public circulation. A book might be challenged by individuals, private pressure groups or governments who disagree with its content or message and therefore wish to censor or silence the author’s voice’. From ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to ‘Harry Potter’, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ to Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse Five,’ numerous well-loved and highly regarded books have been censored at a particular time or in a specific place.

Students and staff were encouraged to exercise their freedom to read with a display of banned books in the library. The message from the librarians? We dare you to read one!

Head Librarian, Lucy Atherton commented, ‘Lots of the books that we consider to be classics today were banned at one point in their history. Some of the Third Form visitors to the library this week were incredulous that ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was on the list’.

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire

On the 6th September the Gold cohort from Wellington’s 2017-18 Duke of Edinburgh’s Award group and a selection of Real Tennis players had the opportunity

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to meet HRH The Earl of Wessex as part of his world tour to celebrate and promote the DofE Award

The Earl of Wessex spent the first part of this visit on the Real Tennis court. His first test was with three students who are playing Real Tennis as part of their DofE Award, as His Royal Highness did when he was a student. Our visitor then partnered Jamie Innes against Junior Real Tennis Champion, Freddie Bristowe, and Tommy Offer, with some high-quality tennis being played. During the afternoon, The Earl of Wessex enjoyed watching a game involving pupils from Hatch Ride Primary School, one of three schools that participate as part of our outreach programme.

In the evening, Gold DofE students presented their expedition reports to The Earl of Wessex. Five groups of students recounted their adventures, with details of activities ranging from walking in Scotland, to canoeing and sailing. Later in the evening OW James Voisin (Bronze, Silver and Gold Award holder) entertained the guests with tales from his many DofE exploits.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme was founded by Prince Philip in 1956 and was originally designed for boys aged between 14 and 18.  HRH The Earl of Wessex has increased his involvement in the DofE Award since his father’s retirement in 2017. 62 years on, he will spear-head a very different organisation. The scheme has evolved and modernised over the years, encompassing a variety of skills and disciplines and is now open to both girls and boys aged 14 to 25.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award remains a core part of Wellington’s co-curricular provision and, in keeping with the Wellington spirit, nothing is done by halves: Gold Award candidates head to Knoydart, a peninsular off the West Coast of Scotland, accessible only by a four-day walk and boat trip and dubbed the remotest place in mainland Britain.

Wellington College Independent Berkshire Vaulting Ambition: A Gold Medal for Wellington College Pupil Jasper

Congratulations to Jasper Smith-Gordon on his gold medal-winning vault at the London Open Gymnastics Competition.

Jasper wowed the judges with his 1.5 vault to take the

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gold medal in the Under 18 competition at the Redbridge Sports Centre in London. Jasper’s vault of one somersault with two and a half twists is often competed by the world’s top gymnasts – it would not have been out of place at the Olympic Games or World Championships. Jasper commented: ‘This was my first time competing the vault and I landed it (almost) perfectly scoring a 14.75 out of 15.2′.

After a courageous performance on the Floor, during which he decided to change his routine, adding ‘an extra full twist on a tumble’, Jasper finished the competition in 8th place overall – an impressive performance, especially for someone competing two years above his age-group.

Wellington College Independent Berkshire The G.W. Annenberg Performing Arts Centre at Wellington College Opens with a Spectacular Gala Concert

On Friday 21st September, performers from seven local schools and community ensembles joined forces with members of the Wellington Community for a glittering Gala Concert,

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marking the official opening of the G.W. Annenberg Performing Arts Centre. In the presence of HRH The Duke of Kent, talented students delighted the 900-strong audience with a colourful programme of dance, drama and music.

It was an evening of sublime contrasts. From the magnificent ‘Zadok The Priest’, performed by the Wellington College Chapel Choir to the toe-tapping Hamilton Medley from St Crispin’s School, there was something to suit every musical taste. The delights kept coming: as the Berkshire Young Voices handed over to the Eagle House Chamber Choir and the Wellington Street Crew made way for the Edgbarrow Rock Band, the mood was one of celebration and wonder. The brilliant finale, ‘From Now On’, brought all the performers to the stage – a powerful reminder of the importance of the Arts in championing diversity, creativity and togetherness.

There has been a genuine buzz and excitement around the Annenberg project since its conception. Even before the first stones were laid, the building was attracting praise for the excellence of its design – it was named the winner of the ‘Best Building in Education’ category at the World Architecture Festival in November 2015 and for this we must pay tribute to the visionary work of the architects, Studio Seilern. We are very grateful to all the donors for their incredible generosity and, in particular, to Regina and Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, for their belief and commitment to the project.

Julian Thomas commented: ‘This wonderful building will not only benefit the pupils and parents of Wellington but will also bring together our local community and our many partnership schools. It is to be a beacon of excellence and a powerful symbol of the way in which the Arts can transform both lives and communities.

The Gala Concert was the culmination of an incredible team effort and I wish to thank everyone involved, from the architects and designers, to the craftsmen and contractors, to the students and staff involved in putting the inaugural show together. Well done to you all!’

‘All the World’s a Stage’, said the Drama Scholars of Wellington College on Friday night and, as the Choir of The Holt School reminded us, ‘What a Wonderful World’ it is.

Wellington College Independent Birkshire International Acclaim for Wellington College Pupil Andrea

Third Form Student Wins Two International Violin Competitions.

Over the summer, one of our new Third Form music scholars, Andrea Lam, performed in two violin international

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violin competitions – and won both.  Andrea performed the ‘Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso’ by Saint-Saens at the Amigdala International Music Competition in Sicily in June and, a month later, she was victorious again, this time at the Convivo International music competition in Guimares, Portugal, where she performed the ‘Carman Fantasy’ by Waxman.

Andrea has already delighted audiences at Wellington, performing to a packed Chapel at the start of term and taking the stage in the new G.W. Annenberg Performing Arts Centre during a recent Monday assembly. We look forward to many more performances in the years to come.

Wellington College Independent Berkshire Wellington College Pupil Hayley Releases Single for Charity

‘We get through it. We bear the scars. And we keep on keeping on.’

Hayley Canham (Lower Sixth) has released a single in support of children’s

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cancer charity, CLIC Sargent. Hayley, who performs under the stage-name cannibal, composed ‘Mars’ as a way of ‘giving something back’ to the people who supported her and her family when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia as a young child.

Hayley commented: ‘I can’t bake a cake and I certainly can’t run a marathon, but when CLIC Sargent asked if I could help, I wanted to do some fundraising and donate a song. My parents found some old home videos which they put together for the song – a little embarrassing for me but, if it is a positive story for families going through what my family and I went through, it will have done its job.’

An accomplished singer and actress, Hayley is a familiar figure on the Wellington stage but, as she addressed students and staff during Monday’s assembly, she revealed a different part of story – the story of how her life was ‘decided on the toss of a coin.’

Hayley’s message was both powerful and uplifting. She challenged listeners to ‘use that fear of the unknown, that unpredictability of tomorrow and prove that you can make your own purpose. We are all tiny people, on a tiny planet in a huge universe but we make a point of our own lives and we do what makes us happy, what inspires us because that is all the meaning that we need, right?

In other words, live for the moment. It sounds clichéd I know, but there’s a reason people keep banging on about it all the time. Lots of us have been through difficult times or are going through them right now and my story is the same as all of yours. We get through it. We bear the scars. And we keep on keeping on.’

Wellington College independent day and boarding school Berkshire


Congratulations to Freddie Bristowe: Under 18 Real Tennis Champion and World Junior Champion 2018.

During August, Real Tennis players from around the world gathered in the

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UK to take part in two major junior competitions, which ran back to back. The top 16 players in the world, under the age of 18, competed in the British Junior Open Singles at the Queen’s Club, before taking on the inaugural World Junior Real Tennis Championships two days later.

With the Under 18 title under his belt, Freddie went into the World Championships in a strong position and, after three competitive rounds, the number 3 seed reached the final. After a tough first set, which went to his opponent, Freddie fought hard and, in an ‘unbelievable display of talent, athleticism and tactics’, went on to win 2/6 6/1 6/0.

To be crowned Under 18 Real Tennis Champion and World Junior Champion 2018 in the same year, let alone in the same week, is an extraordinary achievement!

Well done, Freddie!

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